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“I thought, wow, that's really cool, a place for the Olympics,”
he said. “I think everybody in Whistler is worried about accommodation during
After going through a screening process via e-mail, the home
was offered to Nelson and a friend. He agreed to a lease to the end of April
2009, with an option to negotiate to the end of April 2010.
But there was one problem — he was told the keys were in
Miami and no one was in Whistler to show him the suite. Nelson was told he’d
get the keys and lease documents only after paying for one month’s rent.
The owners would only accept payment via a Western Union money
gram sent to Lucas Y. Adeyemo, Kim Craig’s assistant in Sango Ota, Nigeria.
It was here that things started getting murky.
“The more communication that there was between us, the more
skeptical I was about the situation,” Nelson said.
When he contacted Kim Craig in Nigeria he said he was not
comfortable with sending money to his assistant. He was thereafter directed to
talk to his lawyer, a man named Richardson Moller, in the UK.
“Everybody was spaced all over the world and it was just
sounding worse each time I was talking to them,” he said.
It wasn’t until the week of Aug. 4, a week after first making
contact with the owners, that he got Lane Craig’s phone number in Miami. He
phoned her once and she said that she was having difficulty receiving
He then called her again and said, “Hi, this is Jesse from
Whistler.” She hung up on him.
A Google search of Adeyemo’s name shows that a man of the same
name, also from Nigeria, was implicated in a dog-selling scheme, according to
an article in the Tri City Herald, a newspaper serving the Kennewick, Pasco and
Richland communities in Washington state.
The article states that Adeyemo had offered up an 11-year-old
English bulldog for free in a classified listing, but later asked for $300 to
pay for shipping to the nearest airport.
On Aug. 8, Nelson received an e-mail from Moller, Craig’s
attorney, with a lease agreement enclosed. The document was written in green,
red, blue and black fonts and asked for $2,200 up front as the first month’s
rent and a “good sign of seriousness.”